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Teaching Literature
The Study of Narrative

Since story forms provide an essential means of organizing material about human behavior and events in the world, teachers should explore narrative with their students.

Moreover, often in lower and intermediate level speaking classes, students become bored with the standard drills and conversation dialogs in most ESL texts. We can see students with tremendous potential stymied by non-motivating materials. Many of them have difficulty relating events and stories to other speakers because they have had little chance to express their ideas in a fluid pattern; they can parcel out bits of a story, but presenting a story is more difficult to package in their own words.

To address these problems, we can make our students read short stories and then re-tell the stories to other students.

Stories can be a major vehicle of our students' language development. In encouraging their story-making, along with their personal responses to the stories they read, we are fostering personal and cultural development.

After all , the more we understand the nature of narrative, the more we understand ourselves .

Furthermore, story-making provides a natural transition into more formal writing tasks. The underlying "moral" or point that stories attempt to uncover is what eventually gets transformed into the thesis statement in expository or persuasive essays.

The study of narrative then is fundamentally related to teaching and learning at all grade levels, and even beyond the classroom.

"Narratology: The Study of Story Structure"
Short Stories to Increase Paraphrasing Skills

Page Created on September 8, 1998
 Last updated on April 1, 2009
   Copyright © 1998/2009 by Nada Salem Abisamra

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